Sunday, December 21, 2008

Silly Hat!

Silly Hat!, originally uploaded by alicen.

I made a thoroughly ridiculous hat. Whee!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, originally uploaded by alicen.

We (Kathleen and I) got a Christmas tree! My first tree as "grown up". It is tacky as all get out, since we think good taste is too bourgeois or something. The tree is an actual tree made of tree (not plastic), the lights don't match, and it is covered in tinsel because we both had cats growing up and couldn't have tinsel. The ornaments are all either blue glass balls, or plastic dinosaurs from the kids' toy section with ornament hooks twisted around their necks. And there is an inflatable penguin on top.

Tonight I will endeavor to make strings of popcorn and cranberries and some paper chains.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


PC040001, originally uploaded by alicen.

A sketch of the fuzzy gray wizard's robe style sweatshirt I plan to make from polar fleece.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


A while ago (maybe a year? Maybe two?) my brother wanted fingerless gloves. They were great to work on while I was on vacation at my mother's house, but then real life resumed and they were too complex to actually work on while in transit or anything, so they didn't get finished for a long, long time.

Even I think I'm insane for the color work. There wasn't really any pattern except maybe I flipped through Alice Starmore for ideas about patterns at some point. I looked a knitty for ideas about how to divide for fingers, but at this point I basically just wing it anyway. Usually it works out. When you're doing the second one you at least have a template to follow.

And yes, that is a fire flower:

More or less.

Up next: Gloves for my mother, something referred to as a "sorceress dress" from this book which I picked up in New York, and a fuzzy hooded sweatshirt/wizard's robe (or at least the design sketches). Maybe also pictures of the coriolis sock when I stop wanting to strangle Cat Bordhi for her terrible book layout.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Beastie! That makes me happy.

From this blog by an illustrator of children's books.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


So a while ago I saw this. Then the other night I was bored and wanted baked goods, and, well:

More on Flickr.

Friday, May 16, 2008

From the past while...

These pictures have been uploaded for ages but I haven't got around to posting them here...

Some fingerless gloves I made for biking:

A small bag for holding toiletries instead of having them rattle around in the bottom of my backpack:

Also playing with colors in my journal:

I'm also working on a dress, but no pictures of that at the moment.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


The sun came out today, so I could finally photograph things. I actually finished both of these in the past week, though the quilt I started about two months ago. I was having one of those "why am I in grad school?" sorts of weeks, which led to rather more sewing than I'd been doing. Good for sanity. Less so for grades, so I'll be spending this weekend doing work rather than playing.

My life has been full of good madness lately, and also a renewed obsession with comic books. This has me thinking more visually than I was, which is a goodness. But I need to balance these things with actually getting work done.

Without further ado, the quilt:

The second picture gives you a better idea of the size of the thing - it's rather generous on my queen size bed. I was really going for size and utility over skilled quilting. Maybe next time I'll go for something more elaborate. This is my second quilt ever (the first went to Ohio with the ex, never to be seen again. I've asked him to send me pictures to no avail), and is rather less wonky than the first, but I wasn't being particularly ambitions. It didn't actually wind up being much cheaper than buying one, but I like it much better.

Also, a dress. Which was rather difficult to photograph by myself.

Friday, January 25, 2008

In the tradition of poorly photographed sketches...

This is a rough sketch I did of myself sitting on the bus (yes I sit cross-legged on the bus), mostly from looking in the reflection on the window across from me.

This guy's drawings make me happy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


About a year and a half ago I read the book Adverbs by Daniel Handler. It came up in discussion recently as an example of a book that was more style than substance, and I pulled out some passages I sort of like. I was going to write intelligibly about them, but I work with computers all day and I try to spend less time in front of them, so the internet is somewhat unlikely to hear anything intelligible from me.

So, probably in the wrong order, some passages:

Love is hourly, too. There are stories about people who have loved someone forever after laying eyes on them for a few minutes and then nevermore, but these stories have not happened to anyone we know. No, when you love someone you spend hours and hours with them, and even the mightiest forces in the netherworld could not say whether the hours you spend increase your love or if you simply spend more hours with someone as your love increases. And when the love is over, when the diner of love seems closed from the outside, you want all of those hours back, along with anything you left at your lover's house and maybe a few things which aren't technically yours on the grounds that you wasted a portion of your life and those hours have all gone southside. Nobody can make this better, its seems, nothing on the menu. It's like what the stewardess offers, even in first class. They come with towels, with drinks, mints, but they never say, "Here's the five hours we took from you when you flew across the country to New York to live with your boyfriend and one day he got in a taxicab and never came back" [...]

And another:

"Kaatu", Gladys said in a mysterious howl, and here we could skip ahead if you know what I mean. It is always tempting to skip past words we do not understand, the parts of a relationship which confuse us, and arrive at a nice clear sentence [like] "They clearly weren't in love anymore". [...] But we cannot skip to that or it wouldn't be a love story. We cannot skip the way we look in photographs, or our own affectations, or the way we like our coffee, or the way the people we love like their coffee, even though they like it some bad, bad way. We must suffer through all of it, without skipping any tiny thing.

And one to prove that the book isn't totally depressing:

(after talking about how this crate of potatoes was too big to get through they door of a cafe. also, this book has a thing about magpies)

It is not the diamonds or the birds, the people or the potatoes; it is not any of the nouns. The miracle is the adverbs, the way things are done. It is the way love gets done despite every catastrophe, and look, - actually look! - the potatoes have arrived! They had to slice through the plastic - attractively, artfully, aggressively, to name three adverbs that didn't make it into this book - but the potatoes are being carried inside, an actual miracle! It can't happen to everyone - as in life, some people will be killed off before they get something shiny, and some of them will screw it up and other will just end up with the wrong kind of bird - but some of them will arrive at love. Surely somebody will arrive, in a taxi perhaps, attractively, artfully, aggressively, or any other way it is done.

Just some things running through my head. Next time, maybe I'll post something from this book on technology and design I'm reading for a seminar.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Harry Clarke - Faust, originally uploaded by alicen.

The illustrations of Harry Clarke are pretty awesome. They're also from the 1920s, which really isn't what you'd expect from looking at them.

I'm trying to figure out where to go with this blog and what to use it for. Currently I'm running on the theory that if I think more about art (for whatever value of art you want to use - my definition is pretty damn loose) the more I'll do it and the happier I'll be. So if I keep track of whatever images/phrases/passages from books are running through my head, maybe I'll actually be able to do something with them instead of just looping through them and feeling vaguely intellectually undernourished.

Here's to 2008!